Everything That Was Wrong with the American Horror Story: Coven Finale
I love the new season of American Horror Story like a mother loves her teenage child. Which is to say, I will gush about it to anyone that will listen, but sometimes, I just wish it would make better choices. Though season three certainly had its moments (Fiona’s cunning quips give me goosies when I replay them in my head), the last few episodes of Coven were surprisingly lackluster, which makes me think Ryan Murphy exhausted all of the good plotlines early on and consulted Internet forums to fill in the second half of the season. The finale, it seems, was the final nail in the coffin, for a number of reasons.
1) Technically, Cordelia cannot be the Supreme.
When Zoe’s interest in the Supremacy first manifests, she is discouraged by Madison Montgomery’s impressive abilities. Later on, however, she discovers that in order to be the Supreme, a witch must be in perfect health. With her heart murmur, Madison does not fit the bill. Why, then, is Cordelia crowned the next Supreme when she is unable to conceive? Why force viewers to endure the painfully awkward sex ritual between Cordelia and Hank if not to make that fact clear? Not to mention she stabbed herself in the face a couple times, which makes me question her mental stability. (And don’t even get me started on how her eyes miraculously reappeared.)
2) Everything was rushed, just like the whole second half of the season.
Primetime television only allows for an hour per episode, maybe two. I get that. However, that doesn’t make it acceptable to pack in 3 hours worth of material into a 45-minute time slot. By the second commercial break, 4 of the 7 tasks had been completed and one of the characters was dead. (If this wasn’t the finale, I would not have lamented this fact as much, considering half of the characters have died and come back to life at this point.) By the next break, Cordelia had stepped in and completed all the tasks like it was nothing and the hunt for the Supreme was over. If I wanted to watch accelerated plotlines, Ryan, I would’ve turned on Breaking Bad.
3) Myrtle’s death was a case of faulty logic.
Riddle me this: if Myrtle, who dedicated her life to protecting the art of witchcraft and Fiona’s dysfunctional Coven, is deemed corrupted enough (albeit, by herself) to be burned at the stake, why should Queenie be allowed to stick around? After all, she did abandon the group when they needed her most and for Fiona’s number one enemy, no less. To push the envelope further, she also killed Cordelia’s husband, who was really doing the Coven a favor when he stormed Marie Laveau ‘s voodoo clubhouse. And yet, in the finale, Queenie is not only praised for her “bravery” but honored with a spot on Cordelia’s council. As much as I appreciate her sarcasm and sass, Queenie earned a spot on the stake next to Myrtle more than she did next to Cordelia.
4) Misty did not have to die.
At least, not like that. While I understand one of the witches was bound to fail at the “Seven Wonders” test (the amount of times AHS advertisements promoted a potential fatality demanded at least one), Misty Day simply did not deserve the death that she was granted. This is especially true considering that she suffers the same cringe-worthy fate as Fiona, who was deemed soulless by the Devil himself. Did Misty, who spent the majority of her days frolicking in the woods and bringing helpless creatures back to life (Madison excluded), deserve such a heartless ending? I can justify most any fictitious death as long as there is a purpose behind it. Here, I find none.
5) The ending was downright cliché.
If you were paying attention, you probably could have predicted every word of Cordelia’s end speech before she even opened her mouth. “Fiona was bad, I will be good, this Coven will be the bestest, etc. etc. etc.” I don’t mean to rag on Cordelia because she was one of my favorite underdogs this season but her inspirational speech at the end left a lot to be desired.
6) Since when is “inception” a power?
In the end, Fiona reveals that she gave the Ax Man a “vision” of him murdering her in order to trick Cordelia into thinking she was dead. While I know “mind control” is a common power among witches, no where in the series did they mention “inception” abilities. (Though I’m glad they did because now I can assume that Leonardo Dicaprio was part wizard and that only makes him more appealing.)
7) There were too many “fillers.”
As I’ve said, Myrtle didn’t need to be burned at the stake and we certainly didn’t need to see the procession following her to her death or her teary talk with Cordelia beforehand. Kyle’s undying love (lolz) for Zoe was a given so the “crying over her corpse” thing seemed unnecessary, as was…well, basically the entire second half of the episode.
Unless the producers pull a Vince Gilligan and release an alternate ending to the finale, this season of American Horror Story ended with a disappointing fizzle and no amount of magic can bring it back.